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Home > Landscaping > Native Plants for Western Washington Gardens and Restoration Projects

Native Plants with White Flowers

Acer circinatum
Vine Maple
Tall, erect, multi-trunked shrub or small tree with sprawling branches.
Height: 13-26 feet (4-8 meters)
Flowers grow in small loose clusters at the end of shoots. Flower sepals are purple and red, hairy and spreading; petals are creamy white with purple/red highlights. Flower size: 6-9 mm across.
Achillea millefolium
Aromatic herb with delicate fern-like leaves and flat-topped clusters of white flowers.
Height: 4 inches to 3 feet (10-100 cm).
Flowers are arranged in flat-topped clusters 5-10 cm (2-4 in) across at stem tips. What appear to be single flowers within this cluster are actually tight heads of several tiny flowers, each head with 3-5 white ray flowers surrounding several yellow disk flowers; both ray and disk flowers produce seeds. The ray flowers are usually white but can also be pink or reddish. Flowers bloom later at higher elevations.
Achlys triphylla
Vanilla Leaf
Grows low to the ground, spreading by rhizomes to form dense ground cover in shady areas.
Height: To 12 inches (30 cm) tall.
The flowers which lack sepals and petals have 8-20 long white stamens that form a showy white spike that is positioned above the center point of the leaves; spike size: 2-7 cm (.8-2.75 in) long by 1 cm thick.
Alisma plantago-aquatica
Broadleaf Water-Plantain
A terminal cluster of small white flowers sits above a tall leafless stem. It grows in marshy or semi-aquatic environments.
Height: up to 48 inches (120 cm).
Whorls of small white (rarely pink) flowers are arranged in an open, branched, terminal cluster that sticks up well beyond the leaves. Flowers only open in the afternoon and evening. Flower size: 5 mm long.
Amelanchier alnifolia
Serviceberry, Saskatoon
Medium-sized shrub producing fragrant white flowers in late spring.
Height: Up to 15 feet (4.5 meters).
Clusters of large white flowers range from drooping to erect. Each flower has 5 petals with 15 to 20 stamens each; size: 1-2.5 cm across.
Anaphalis margaritacea
Pearly Everlasting
Clump forming, perennial herb with small withering basal leaves and papery white flower clusters.
Height: Up to 40 inches (100 cm).
Flowers are very small with yellowish disk flowers surrounded by dry pearly white involucral bracts with dark triangular bases. The flowers which can be male or female appear in late summer. Flowers are in desne flat-topped clusters 15 cm (6 in) across.
Arbutus menziesii
An attractive broadleaf evergreen with a twisting reddish trunk and irregular branches with an overall rounded outline.
Height: Up to 100 feet (30 meters).
The small pinkish-white, bell-shaped flowers are arranged in large drooping clusters and are fragrant. Each flower has 10 anthers, a superior ovary and 5 sepals fused at the base. Flower size ranges from 6-7 mm long.
Aruncus dioicus
Goat's Beard
Tall perennial herb topped with large feathery clusters of white flowers, grows from rhizomes and has multiple stems.
Height: Can grow up to 6.5 feet (2 meters) tall.
Male and female flowers occur on separate plants. Flowers are densely packed in elongated terminal feathery clusters. Flower branchlets are spike-like. Each saucer-shaped flower is white to cream with petals to about 1 mm long.
Boykinia occidentalis
Slender Boykinia
A slender herb with open panicles of small white flowers.
Height: Up to 24 inches (60 cm).
Numerous flowers in a much-branched inflorescence. Each flower is densely glandular and reddish, with five white, oblong to oval petals.
Brodiaea hyacinthina
Fool's Onion, White Brodiaea
Onion-like plant from an underground corm, with large clusters of white flowers at tip of stems.
Height: 10-30 inches (25-70 cm).
In large umbel at top of a slender stalk 25-70 cm (10-28 in) tall and surpassing leaves. 3-5 bracts below umbel are small and papery. Each braodly bell-shaped flower is white to light blue, with blue or green veins; size: 1-1.5 cm long.
Caltha biflora
Marsh Marigold
Perennial herb with large white flowers held above broadly rounded leaves; grows in wet subalpine meadows.
Height: 16 inches (40 cm).
1-2 flowers emerging from a stem with one leaf. Flowers lack true petals but have 5-7 bright white sepals and many stamens. Fize: 1.5-4 cm (.6-1.5 in) across.
Ceanothus velutinus
A tall shrub with glossy leaves and clusters of white flowers.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters).
Flowers are arranged in pyramidal clusters 5-12 cm long along the length of side branches. EAch flower is tiny, white.
Cerastium arvense
Field Chickweed
Flower color: white.
Claytonia perfoliata
Miner's Lettuce
Low-growing, mat-like herbaceous annual with succulent round leaves.
Height: 12 inches (30 cm).
Small white to pinkish flowers with 2 sepals and 5 petals, in small clusters just above the stem leaves. Size: 3-7 mm long.
Claytonia sibirica
Siberian Spring Beauty
Low-growing delicate herb.
Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm).
Flowers are in 1 to several many-flowered raceme clusters jsut above the stem leaves. Each flower has 2 sepals and 5 notched-tipped white to pink petals 6-12 mm long. The flowers are pink when growing in shade, but are more white when growing in sun.
Cornus nuttallii
Western Flowering Dogwood
Multi-branched, irregular trees with attractive large white "flowers".
Height: Up to 65 feet (20 meters) tall.
Small, inconspicuous cluster of greenish-white flowers surrounded by 4-6 large, showy white bracts 2-7 cm long that appear to form a single flower. Sometimes will bloom again in September.
Cornus stolonifera
Red-osier Dogwood
Spreading, thicket-forming shrub with bright red stems.
Height: Up to 20 feet (6 meters).
The tiny flowers have 4 petals and 4 stamens; numerous in dense, flat-topped terminal clusters; primary color: white to greenish; size: 2-4 mm long.
Cornus unalaschkensis
Low, trailing, rhizomatous perennial with white flowers.
Height: Up to 10 inches (25 cm).
What looks like a single large flower is actually four white bracts with a small cluster of greenish-white flowers in the center. Each flower has 4 sepals, 4 stamens, 4 petals. May bloom twice (late spring and again in late summer). Size: 2.5 cm (1 in) across (including bracts).
Crataegus douglasii
black hawthorn
large shrub or small tree with clusters of white flowers and dark purplish-black berries.
Stinky odor; 5 petals, 5 styles, 10-20 stamens; flowers are in clusters borne terminally or in leaf axis; primary color: white; size: 1 cm across.
Disporum hookeri
Hooker's Fairybells
Rhizomatous perennial with sparsely branched stems and irregularly curled leaves with hanging white flowers beneath the upper leaves.
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meters).
Narrow, creamy-white, bell-shaped flowers; style usually hairy; 1-3 hanging from tip of branch; size: 1-2 cm long.
Epilobium brachycarpum
Tall Annual Willowherb
Taprooted annual of dry, gravelly or disturbed sites.
Height: 1-4 feet (30-120 cm) tall.
Open panicles of flowers; primary color: pink or white; size: 0.25-0.5 in (3-12 mm).
Eriophorum chamissonis
Chamisso's Cotton-grass
Extensive beds growing from spreading rhizomes or stolons with tufts of cotton-like seed heads.
Height: 8-28 inches (20-70 cm).
Solitary spikelet at tip of stem; no leafy involucral bracts. Spike subtended by 4-6 large, sterile, dark-brown scales. Obscured by cotton ball.
Erythronium oregonum
White Fawn Lily
Showy white lily from segmented corm.
Height: Flower stem up to 1 feet (30 cm) tall.
Tepals (petals) white with yellow bases, bent back; anthers yellow. Flowers usually single terminal and nodding.
Fragaria chiloensis
Coastal Strawberry
Spreads low across ground with runners. White flowers and small red strawberries.
Height: Up to 10 inches (25 cm).
5-7 white petals; each plant has 5-9 flowers on leafless flowering stalks to 30 cm (12 in) tall; flower size: 3.5 cm (1.5 in) across.
Fragaria vesca
Woodland strawberry
A wild strawberry with thin leaves, low, short runners, white flowers, and small red strawberries.
Height: Up to 10 inches (25 cm).
5-7 petals; each plant has 5-9 flowers on leafless flowering stalks to 30 cm tall; primary color: white-pink; size: 3.5 cm (1.5 in) across.
Fragaria virginiana
Wild strawberry
Low growing wild strawberry with runners, white flowers, and small red strawberries.
Height: Up to 10 inches (25 cm).
5-7 white petals and a yellow center, leafless flowering stalk; size: 1.5 cm (.6 in) across.
Galium aparine
Cleavers, Bedstraw
Flower color: white.
Galium trifidum
Small Bedstraw
Sprawling perennial with numerous stems from slender rhizomes.
Height: up to 28 inches (70 cm).
Small whitish flowers in several to many clusters of 1-3 on long, narrow stalks from branch tips and axils of leaf whorls; size: 1-3 mm wide.
Gaultheria shallon
Creeping to erect shrub with hairy branching stems and dark leathery leaves.
Height: Up to 16 feet (5 meters) in exceptional cases but typically 3-7 feet (1-2 m) tall.
Occur in racemes of 5-15 urn-shaped flowers, all oriented in same direction; primary color: white-pinkish; size: 7-10 mm long.
Goodyera oblongifolia
Rattlesnake Plantain
Evergreen orchid from short rhizomes with an unusual mottled leaf pattern.
Height: Up to 1.5 feet (45 cm).
Petals and 1 of the sepals form a hood over the lip; numerous in long, dense, downy, terminal spike with most flowers oriented to one side; primary color: dull-white to greenish; size: to 1 cm. Does not bloom every year.
Heuchera micrantha
Small-flowered Alumroot
Grows from rhizomes with one to many flower stems that are reddish and covered with fine hairs and topped with delicate panicles of tiny white flowers.
Height: Up to 2 feet (60 cm).
White to cream colored, small, numerous, on thin stalks in large open groups; 5 stamens.
Holodiscus discolor
Multi-stemmed upright shrub with ridged young stems and arching older stems with peeling bark. White flowers.
Height: Up to 13 feet (4 meters).
Flowers are in dense terminal pyramidal cluster, 10-17 cm long; 5 white petals, 20 stamens, mostly 5 pistils, ovary is two-ovuled; flower clusters turn brown and remain on plants over winter; primary color: white to cream; size: 5 mm across.
Hydrophyllum fendleri
Fendler's Waterleaf
Flower color: white.
Hydrophyllum tenuipes
Pacific Waterleaf
Single leafy, hairy stem grows from rhizomes and fleshy fibrous roots; with small clusters of greenish-white flowers.
Height: Up to 32 inches (80 cm).
Numerous in terminal compact clusters on stalks from upper leaf axils; primary color: greenish-white to lavender; size: 5-7 mm long; stamens and pistils are sticking out; sepals are bristly on margins; shape: bell-shaped.
Ledum groenlandicum
Labrador Tea
Evergreen, branching shrub with rusty-hairy leaf undersides and white flowers.
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).
White, with protruding stamens, small; numerous, in short umbrella-like clusters; shape: saucer.
Lithophragma parviflorum
Small-flowered Woodland Star
Delicate herb from slender rhizomes with numerous small bulblets; white star-shaped flowers.
Height: 2-16 inches (10-40 cm).
5 to 11 flowers in a compact to elongated cluster at top of stem; 5 petals, 3-fingered. Plants along the coast of Washington and Oregon appear to have distinctly pinkish- to purplish-tinged stems and flowers; size: 1 cm wide.
Luetkea pectinata
Low-growing ground cover with spikes of small white flowers.
Height: Up to 6 inches (3 cm) tall.
Numerous small white flowes in dense spikes held above the leaves. Each flower has 5 white petals, 20 stamens, and 5 pistils.
Maianthemum dilatatum
False Lily-of-the-Valley
Quickly spreading ground cover with attractive glossy green leaves.
Height: Up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall.
The small delicate white flowers are grouped in short spikes held just above the leaves.
Maianthemum racemosum
False Solomon's Seal
Flower color: white.
Maianthemum stellatum
Starflowered False Solomon's Seal
Flower color: white.
Malus fusca
Pacific Crabapple
Small tree, slender in form, appears thorny; bushy in the open.
Height: 16.5-40 feet (5-12 meters).
fragrant white to pink apple blossoms in small clusters; pretty in bloom, but small; size: 9-14 mm long; shape: petals oblong-oval to obovate.
Menyanthes trifoliata
White, curly-haired flowers and large trifoliate leaves decorate this patch-forming plant found in shallow water.
Flower color: white.
Oemleria cerasiformis
Indian Plum, Osoberry
Deciduous shrub producing clusters of white flowers in very early spring. One of the earliest plants to bloom.
Height: 16.5 feet (5 meters).
Male and female plants can be on same or separate plants (monoecious or dioecious). Flowers have 5 petals and 15 stamens in 3 distinct series. Flowers hang in 5-10 cm long cluster from leaf axils; primary color: white above and paler green and waxy beneath; size: 1 cm across; shape: bell-shaped.
Oenanthe sarmentosa
Pacific Water Parsley
Semi-aquatic, often reclining or scrambling herb, with stem tips ascending or curled and small flat-topped clusters of white flowers.
Height: Up to 40 inches (1 meter).
Tiny flowers in 5-20 compact clusters on 1-3 cm long stalks subtended by 0-few, narrow, leafy bracts; primary color: white, sometimes pink tinged; size: small; shape: compound umbels.
Oplopanax horridus
Devil's Club
An erect to sprawling shrub with thick, spiny, crooked stems and very large leaves.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters).
Arranged in pyramidal clusters to 20 cm long; primary color: greenish-white; flower size: 5-6 mm.
Oxalis oregana
Wood Sorrel
A delicate herb with clover-like leaves and white to pink flowers, forming carpets in forested areas.
Flower color: white,pink.
Petasites palmatus
Palmate Coltsfoot
Many-stemmed perennial with umbrella-like leaves from creeping rhizomes.
Height: Up to 30 inches (80 cm).
Ray flowers creamy white; disk flowers whitish to pinkish; involucres 7-16 mm high, the bracts lance-shaped, with hairs at the base; heads several to many, on glandular and often white-woolly stalks.
Philadelphus lewisii
Mock Orange
Erect, loosely branched shrub with large fragrant white flowers.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters).
4 petals; numerous stamens; 3-15 in clusters at the end of lateral branches; size: 2-3 across.
Phlox diffusa
Spreading Phlox
Mat forming perennial with showy white to pink flowers.
Height: Up to 4 inches (10 cm).
Showy; 5 sepals fused into whitened, long-hairy tube with sharp lobes; petals fused into tube 9-17 mm long, spreading flat into 5-9 mm long lobes, solitary and stalkless at ends of stems and branches; primary color: pink to lavender or whitish; size: 1.3 cm across.
Physocarpus capitatus
Pacific Ninebark
Erect to spreading shrub up to 4 meters tall with clusters of white flowers.
Height: Up to 13 feet (4 meters).
White, small, 5 petals, about 30 pink stamens; several to many in terminal, rounded clusters; size: 4 mm long.
Platanthera dilatata
White Rein-Orchid, Bog Candle
Perennial orchid with spikes of white flowers from tuber-like roots.
Height: Up to 28 inches (70 cm).
White to greenish tinge, waxy, small but very fragrant, spur slender, cylindrical, curved longer than lip, 5-30 flowers in loose to densely packed terminal spikes.
Prunus emarginata var. mollis
Bitter Cherry
Shrub or small tree with white flowers and small red cherries.
Height: Up to 50 feet (15 meters).
White or slightly pinkish, 1-1.5 cm across, saucer-shaped; 5-10 in a rounded or flat-topped cluster. Flowers appear when leaves are about half grown.
Rubus parviflorus
Unarmed spreading shrub with large white flowers. Usually forms dense thickets.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters).
Petals white, crinkled like tissue paper, 2-3 cm long; several (3-11) in long stemmed terminal cluster.
Rubus ursinus
Trailing Blackberry
Trailing prickly vine producing small blackberries in late summer.
Height: 20 inches (50 cm).
Flowers grow in flat topped clusters from the leaf axils; male and female flowers are on different plants; primary color: white or pale pink; size: 4 cm.
Sagittaria latifolia
Wapato, Arrowhead
Tall semi-aquatic perennial of marshes or lake margins, with large arrowhead shaped leaves and small white flowers.
Height: 3 feet (90 cm).
Sexes often on different flowers, 3 white petals 1-2 cm long and 3 greenish sepals, numerous ovaries and stamens, flowers in 2-8 whorls.
Sambucus racemosa
Red Elderberry
Shrub to small tree with clusters of small white flowers and red berries.
Height: 20 feet (6 meters).
Pyramidal clusters of small creamy-white flowers with an unpleasant odor.
Sium suave
Flower color: white.
Sorbus sitchensis
Sitka-Mountain Ash
Flower color: white.
Streptopus amplexifolius
Clasping Twisted Stalk
Perennial herb with a branched zigzagging stem and dangling white flowers.
Height: 3 feet (1 meter).
Flowers hang on thin, twisted stalks; 1-2 from each leaf axil along stem; primary color: greenish-white; size: 1-2 cm; shape: bell shaped with flaring tips.
Tellima grandiflora
Flower color: white,pink.
Tiarella trifoliata
Herb with erect or ascending stems and spikes of dainty white flowers.
Height: 2 feet (60 cm).
Tiny and delicate white flowers at the end of short wire-like stalks, several to many in elongate clusters, 5 petals and 10 stamens; size: 2 mm; shape: stars, narrowly tube shaped.
Trillium ovatum
Western Trillium
Short stout stems topped with a whorl of three leaves and a single large white flower.
Height: 12-18 inches (30-45 cm).
The solitary flower has three white petals 2.5-5 cm long by 1.8-4.5 cm wide, with 6 fuzzy yellow stamens and three green sepals beneath. The petals turn pink to purple with age.
Vancouveria hexandra
Inside-out Flower
Rhizomatous perennial with small white flowers and delicate leaves.
Height: 16 inches (40 cm).
6 petals and 6 sepals bent backwards and flaring; stamens finely purplish-glandular-hairy; 10-30 flowers on slender stalks in open panicles; size: 2 cm; shape: shooting star.
Viburnum edule
High Bush Cranberry
Shrub with bright red berries and brilliant fall foliage.
Height: 3-9 feet (1-3 meters) tall.
Clusters of small white flowers.
Xerophyllum tenax
Forms a tall grass-like clump of tough leaves topped by a large dense cluster of white flowers.
Height: 3-5 feet (1-1.5 meters).
Tiny, white, fragrant flowers on long stalks in a showy pyramidal terminal cluster on a long stem; 6 petal-like sepals and stamens; flowers irregularly every few years; stem dies after fruiting.

The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.